Palmer Park. There's a street that I pass nearly daily, called Palmer Park. Weee-eeell. Until Sunday I did't know that there's also a park called Palmer Park.

I had intended to take Ray to a playground on the corner of Academy and Maizeland, when I noticed a road leading to the north from the turnoff into the park.


It's almost like having a state park in the middle of town...you can't hear, let alone see, traffic. Hiking trails, picnic tables, rocks suitable for jumping on...

Of course, balancing out the day was the time when Ray got carsick on the way back from Woodland Park on Hwy. 24. Ewwww.


Buffy. Just a though on something Doyce said the other day...I'm working my way through the fourth season DVDs. He was talking about how the creator, Joss Whedon, wasn't willing to pull punches, even though it might make people uncomfortable, "make for bad TV."

Now, I haven't felt uncomfortable watching any of the fourth season episodes.

For me, the times that were hard to watch were when Buffy was fighting with her mother. The "Ted" episod--the one where her mom falls for this authoritarian guy that turns out to be a psychotic robot--was the most painful episode I've ever had to watch.

Watching her mom, I kept thinking, "I never want to do this."

Watching the Ted episode, I just wanted to leave...

Update: Okay, I take that back. The last half of the Faith episodes gave me the creeps.

I feel more sympathy for Faith as a character than Lee does.



Ray's talking.

You have to pay very close attention, because she isn't very clear, but it's there. Mixed about forty-sixty with babble.

Also, she's about the most obliging toddler I've met. Any request she understands (that doesn't involve walking away from a cartoon, mind you, but that's almost too much to ask for at this stage), she will happily do.

Unless she's teasing you, in which case she may run around in circles and squeak for a while first.

Ray went over to her friend Brenna's house. Brenna is a month and a half older than Ray and can talk very clearly, in complete sentences. I'm a jealous but supportive mother.

Brenna was playing with a toy broom when Ray decided she wanted the broom. Rather than taking the broom, she picked up a big ball and played with it until Brenna decided she wanted to play with the broom.

Ray dropped the ball. Brenna picked it up, and Ray went straight for the broom.

Brenna played with the ball for a few seconds before realizing she'd been had.

"Mine!" she said.

Brenna's mom, Kirsten, had missed this. "Be nice, Brenna," she said. "You need to share."

I told her what Ray'd done. We laughed.

Ray dropped the broom, and Brenna picked it up. Then Brenna offered to give her back the broom. They dropped everything and chased each other through the halls, squealing happily.

All is well in toddler land.

P.S. I remember my best friend when I was little, a cousin of mine. We'd play and play and play, and then there would be a couple of hours when we hated each other. I don't remember trying to trick her out of stuff (that was for my brother, Matt), but there you go.
Iron Fist, Velvet Glove.


Jewel wrote!

Er? You say.


She started a writing/poetry list called "Darkwaves and Larkwings." Know where I learned to be (somewhat) brave enough to share what I write? Ta daaaaa! She put together a book, an actual book, and I had poetry published in it. You should see it--it's a better edition than I'll hope to be published in for my first novel, let me tell you. And she published a 'zine called iMPS iN THe iNKWeLL, with all kinds of saucy tidbits.

She is, as Lee says, one of the three poets he can stand to read...Bukowski and me, we're the other two, see?



Spirit. I'm thinking about this today because I'm doing the writeup tonight for the Nobilis game at Doyce's tomorrow. If that doesn't make sense, never mind.

I see a lot of things in the terms of their spirits. For one random thing, it summarizes the reason I'd rather live in Colorado Springs than Denver.

It isn't just the natural place itself, although that's part of it. Sure, there are mountains and trees. The weather is just so (and just so without mosquitoes). Sunshine, prairie to the east...all of these things are important. But Tesla lived here. Heinlein lived here. NORAD is here. There are military types and mystical freaks. The contentious Independent. Some good colleges. The battle of local coffeeshops with Starbucks...a million different details. None of the roads go where they're supposed to go.

It's a place here.

--I've done it with people, too. I close my eyes, and I can see them as children. Not necessarily the children they were, bu the children they have inside themselves now. (The child I have inside myself now is happier, for example, than the one I had then.)

Well, it sounds fruity, but there you go. Some of my best writing--the stuff that non-writers remember--comes from translating what I perceive as spirit into something other people can read. The novel comes from that...the image of the prairie as an ocean, and wondering if my parents, out working the fields while I'd been left with my little brother in the back of a pickup truck with a stack of books, were going to just vanish one day and never come back.

Where would they go? What lies underneath the illusion of all the flatness?

Something fun that I've done in the past is imagine what types of monsters go with what places--now there's a good way to find the darkest parts of the spirit of a place.

I could go pick up the new Harry Potter book at midnight tonight.


Let me check my planner.
Appointment. We had the one-stop shop doctor's appointment the other day: Ray had her 18-month checkup (quite late, but acceptable) and I had the birth control shot.

My shots hurt a lot less than Ray's. More fact in my butt cheeks than her thighs...and the needle's proportionately shorter. They tag-teamed her this time, two shots at the same time, with the third just seconds later. Quick and...

Organization. I took a class for work on time management. The instructor, of course, made a point to point out that we don't manage time itself.

I decided not to go all quantum on the boy.

Anyway, I'm carrying around a month's worth of planner, which contains my values in life, weekly goals, daily to-do lists, and a schedule for answering my email at work. And quotes. A quote every day! It's like a gold mine. This week's quotes for the newsletter came totally from the planner...not quite in itself a sound investment, but there you go.

I literally feel like there's more time in the day. Of course, this isn't such a good thing at work, where I'm looking at the clock, going, "Could this day get any longer?" But at home I feel...busier, but satisfied.

Hm...If only they'd put in that quote about spending long hours doing something you love.

Nearly a whole week since the last post.


Ramble, ramble, ramble.

I'm sure anybody with programming knowledge (or a mind delighted by trivia) will have come up with this already. I was watching Ray take a bath the other day (see below), and this happened to wander across my mind...

How do people make decisions? It isn't as simple as setting priorities and following them. If that were the case, people wouldn't change, and wouldn't adapt to changing situations.

Here's what I came up with:

1. Priorities: These are the things you value, either consciously or unconsciously. For the sake of the ramble, let's say they fall into if-then patterns. If you see a chance to do something nice for someone else at a cost relative to the person's worth to you personally, then do it. If you have to choose among things you would otherwise find equally desireable, then chose the most stylish item. If you don't want to be held responsible for something, then blame someone else. *If 1, then A. If 2, then B. If 3, then not A. If 4, then not B.

2. Metapriorities: These are the ideas that set the relative weight of your priorities. Let's say they fall into "vision statement" patterns or what people call their "philosophy of life." The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Know thyself. The one who dies with the most toys, wins. *A is better than B. In case of A, not A conflict, choose A. In case of B, not B conflict, choose not B.

3. Feedback: This is how we know our priorities aren't fulfilling the rules set by our metapriorities. This is harder to give pat examples for. It's easier to say *If more B than A, change priorities to If 3, then A and If 2, then A. So if A is generosity and B is ice cream, and you find out you're pretty selfish with your ice cream, then you'll start changing the specific instances in which you'd give away your ice cream so you'd be a more generous person.

4. Metafeedback: This is how we know our metapriorities aren't fulfilling the rules set by our priorities. *If more than X priorities much be changed to satisfy metapriority Y must be modified so less than or equal to X priorities must be changed. So if you find yourself having changed your priorities so you always give away your ice cream, you start telling yourself that maybe generosity isn't that great, and maybe you need to change your ideas about generosity instead of giving away all your damn ice cream. Metafeedback also applies to feedback and metafeedback: if the pot can't contain itself, what does contain the pot?

5. Choice: This is how conscious we are of all of the above.
Good news, bad news.

The good news is that Ray's starting to become aware of the "pee" function of her genetalia, which means that down the road, hypothecially speaking, we should be able to potty-train her.

The bad news is that she decided to demonstrate her awareness by standing up in the bathtup, squirting water out of the drip area of one of her toys (which happened to be on the belly area of a lion), holding said toy to her crotch, yelling "whee!" and pissing all over it.

Oh well.


Talk. Okay, I think we can declare Ray officially talking now. She's been talking for a couple of weeks. I got her, Sunday, to say "Daddy, where are you?" It comes out as "Daee wah-you?" The catchall word that means everthing has been "Go!"

"Let's change your diaper."


"Are you tired of sitting in your carseat?"


"I'm going to tickle you!"


And..."Is it time to go?"



Watch! Oh, yeah! The watch arrived. Ooh, you got to see this watch. It's a gift for Lee: a pocket watch.

You can see the movement through the case--front and back. It's spring-wind, gold-colored, and, well, you can see all the little pieces moving inside.



Terrorism update.

Did you hear about the math teacher that was arrested on a flight to New York lately? His TI calculators looked suspicious, and the guy threw a fit when security opened up the cases.

Well, what did he expect? They were instruments of math destruction.

Via Lee, who stinks.

Today, Lee and Ray went to some friends of ours to hang out and let our kids play together.

I stayed home.

I'm feeling sorry for myself already, but if I'd gone, I'd be bitching about all the work I had to get done. Erkle.

Update: Most of the newsletter is done, with just the editorial, the joke of the week, and some quotes to go.


The good news and the bad news.

The good news is that Ray has conquered the McDonaldland play area. She disappeared around a corner, and the next time I saw her was through one of the little window areas at the very top. She said, "Ooooh." Then...she slid down the slide.

I just kept thinking that if it came down to a battle of nerves, I think she'd win. It's not like she doesn't have fear. She fears the obvious things, like falling off tall objects that my younger brother Andy never did. It's just that she observes the situation, determines just how far she thinks she can safely go, and does it.

The bad news is that she's learning how not to bite mom and dad, the hard way.

The other good news is that the '98 to 2000 pro has been successfully completes, with a 0% data loss.

The other bad news is that it was, in Lee's words, "interesting." I managed to set up an unintentional but perfectly-functioning dual boot system before discovering that it would take a new CD-ROM drive and video card to perfect the transition. And some more RAM. But--this is one of Lee's systems. It's a learning experience; that's the way it works.

The other other good news is that I'm done with day two, Wednesday. I don't have a page count yet, as the info is entered on two different systems (see above) and 6 pages in a notebook. I'm so hyped about it that I want to show people my first draft. Maybe I'll show Lee. Dunno.

The other other bad news is that my Grandfather's in the hospital. They had to put in a permanent pacemaker. He's feeling a lot better...but...whew. Anyway, if you pray, prayers would be good; if you don't, send him some karma. This is the guy that tried to get me to quit sucking my thumb by showing me his hand (the one with the thumb the combine had snipped off decades ago) and telling me that he'd sucked it off, because his mother let him suck it after he turned five. He's one of those quiet South Dakota types that likes to play horseshoes and tell bad Bohemian jokes, because he's Bohemian. I have a scrollwork angel on my wall he sent us to commemorate our wedding...I guess I'm just trying to explain how precious he is.

Pretty precious.

And...the other other other bad news is that two of my younger sibs are off to New York for a band trip soon. My mother says they lowered they lowered the alert level too soon. If there is a god, please spare New York from my brother Andy's sense of humor. He doesn't deserve to die for those jokes...well, okay, he almost does, but spare him anyway. Amen, I hope.